This guide shares 7 ways to get the most out of your wedding photos and it was put together with you in mind. It doesn’t need to be followed completely to ensure perfect photos, or an amazing wedding, but can be used as a resource if you are feeling unsure about a couple of things. I believe, and I am not being biased here, but your photographer can be one of the most important figures on your wedding day. They are able to pull from their experience, help guide you through the day and offer a much needed hand in the planning process, so you all get the best out of the experience. All weddings are unique and there is no right way to doing them, however a few tips can go a long way in how your final images look and I have included them here for you to read through!
1. Book a Photographer who you connect with and trust them to do their job!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a photographer who not only knows what they are doing, but also is someone you feel you connect with, whether that be on a personal level through the way they speak to you, or through their images as well. It’s important that you love their work, but you also want to get along with them as well! Your wedding photographer is going to be with you all day, so that’s why I always stress how important connection is with me and my clients. So get to know your wedding photographer ahead of the day as well, this will help create that connection, and will make all the difference on the day. The connection and experience you have with your photographer I believe will also reflect on how you feel about your images after. When it comes to the work, trust your photographer. When it comes to locations they have scouted, or the way they take your photos, they want you to look and feel like yourselves. So trust in how they do their job, its more than likely why you loved their work to begin with!
2. Schedule an Engagement Shoot
Many couples tend to feel very nervous in front of the camera. I often hear “ We aren’t photogenic” or “ We are not great at having our photos taken and can be very awkward” when it comes to chatting about their portrait session on the wedding day. If you are feeling pretty nervous about it, a great idea would be to schedule an engagement shoot ahead of the wedding with your photographer. Not only is this a great way for you to get to know your photographer better and how they work, but also allows you to warm up to the idea of having a camera around you. Engagement shoots are meant to be a fun and laid back experience and you can take this opportunity to be photographed somewhere special to the both of you as well! The best part about this, is you will end up with some gorgeous images that you can use for invites, or save the dates.
3. Plan your Timeline with your photographer
When it comes to your wedding timeline, I suggest including your photographer in your timeline plans. Why? Because your photographer has been to countless weddings, and more than likely knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes down to this portion of your planning. They can point out spaces where you haven’t left enough time for things like family portraits, reception or couples portraits. So to get the most of your day, do not leave them out of your ideas and plans. They can pull from experience and help point you in the right direction to get the most out of your day. There is really no one more experienced in timelines that work – than your wedding photographer.
4. Think about your getting ready space
Getting the most out of your wedding photos also means thinking about where the day is going to start. Some of the best moments photographed often happen before the wedding begins. Your getting ready photos are taken when all the true nervousness and excitement is most evident. These photos can show all the fun, candid and poignant parts of the day such as getting into your wedding dress, or writing out your final vows to one another.
However the one thing that often gets overlooked, is how chaotic this part of the day can be. When you have bridal parties, makeup and hair, food, luggage, a photographer and sometimes videographer, it can all start to feel very crowded. You don’t want to end up in a cramped space when getting ready. The nicer the space, the nicer your final images will be.
Thinking about what type of location you’d like to be the setting for your prep photos will have an impact on your final images. If you are getting married at the venue or a hotel, your room will probably be suitable ( as long as there is good lighting and enough space to move around ). I do however often recommend couples hire an Air Bnb decorated in a style that they love and could accommodate their bridal party. They tend to be more interesting to photograph, and gives you a bit more space to move about. ( i.e renting out an entire house, like a cottage. ) Light also plays a factor in how your getting ready images will look i.e. less window light can create lovely and moody images, where rooms with lots of natural light can give a brighter/lighter appearance.
The most important tip- keep your room tidy! It’s important to keep in mind whatever is in the room, may be photographed, and ends up in your wedding album and shared with everyone.
The key to classic and beautiful getting ready images, is a clean and tidy space.
5. Consider an Unplugged Ceremony
Consider asking guests to put away their cell phones, iPads, cameras and electronics during the ceremony and leave the documentation to your hired photographer. The last thing you want is someone jumping out in the aisle as you’re walking down and ruining what would be an amazing photo. Without all the distractions, your guests will be able to focus solely on the two of you and the reason they’re there. Your photographer would love nothing more than to capture all the amazing emotions on your guests faces, and if there happens to be an iPad or an iPhone in the way, it’s a missed moment! A great tip in seeing your unplugged ceremony enforced, is to simply ask your officiant to make a polite reminder to everyone about being present during the wedding and refrain from using their cameras/cell phones as they will all have access to the images from the photographer after the wedding.
Confetti recession lines are all that more amazing when everyone is focused on throwing it instead of filming it on their phones. Instagram.Can.Wait.
6. Understand the importance of light during your wedding
As I mentioned above, it’s always a really great idea to chat with your photographer about the timeline of your day because this is also their opportunity to chat with you about lighting. The available light is something that will highly affect how your images come out, but something that most couples don’t think about when they are planning their wedding. Your photographer should be able to work around most lighting conditions, however any consideration taken towards light will always benefit you and the final images. Everything from getting ready to reception, taking some extra steps can make all the difference.
For example; If you are having an outdoor ceremony, consider what time of day you are getting ready and where the sun may be at that time of year. Different seasons have varied hours of light during the day. Summer weddings mean longer hours, yet brighter sun during the middle of the day. It’s a great idea to have your ceremony later in the afternoon towards evening when the light isn’t so bright and not so hot. Your guests will thank you, and you will be much more comfortable.
If you are have an indoor ceremony, what is the available light like and can you make it better by adding any?
For the evening, candlelight is super cozy, or festoon lights in the ceiling will also bring a lot of atmosphere to the dinner location. Ensuring their is ample lighting during your reception will help your photographer in big ways. I would recommend staying away from colour LED lights, as they can cast unflattering skin-tones, such as purples and pinks. Down-lights also create unwanted shadows under eyes, and may give an orange look to the skin. You can solve this by using flash, however it may not give the ambience and look to the photos you are imagining.
If you are having a backyard wedding or a reception on a private property that isn’t an already established wedding venue, remember to have lots of light so your guests aren’t standing in the dark. Think festoon lighting/ bistro lights. Having everyone lit up, means that your photographer will be able to capture all their faces and important moments throughout the night.
7. Take some alone time and Breathe!
Don’t forget that your day is about the two of you and you will have everyone vying for your attention all day. Make sure to that you sneak away for a few stolen moments together. Its great to take a little breather. And every once in a while, STOP, and look around. Take a mental snap shot of what is going on. The day goes by so fast, You are married, and everyone is here for you.
How magical is that.
That’s it for now!
I hope this guide showing you 7 ways to get the most out of your Wedding Photos is helpful! There are no rules when it comes to planning weddings, but there are certainly some tips and tricks that can go a long way in making everything THAT much better. I wish you the very best with your planning!